Imec Presents InGaAs TFET with sub-60 mV/decade sub-threshold swing

Promising alternative for MOSFET in future ultralow power chips

LEUVEN (Belgium) – March 6, 2017 – At the CS International Conference (Brussels, March 7-8), the premier conference dedicated to compound semiconductor technology, world-leading research and innovation hub in nano-electronics and digital technology, imec, will present promising device results with a InGaAs-only TFET (tunnel field-effect transistor). Achieving a sub-60 mV/decade sub-threshold swing at room temperature, these devices are promising candidates to replace MOSFET transistors in future chip generations for ultralow-power applications operating on ultralow supply voltages.

TFETs exploit a different mechanism to inject carriers than MOSFETs, the most dominant transistor type today. While MOSFETs introduce carriers from the source into the conducting channel by thermal injection, a TFET works through band-to-band tunneling (BTBT). With that, they promise sub-threshold swings smaller than 60mV/dec, which is below the limit of what is possible with MOSFETs. This would allow operating them at ultralow supply voltages (below 0.5V).             

The device developed at imec is an InGaAs homojunction TFET. It shows a minimum sub-threshold swing of 54mV/dec at 100pA/mm. The sub-threshold swing remains sub-60mV/dec over 1.5 orders of magnitude of current at room temperature. The EOT of the devices is 0.8nm, which plays a major role in achieving the desired sub-60 mV/dec performance.

“We have entered an era where new chip technologies require making trade-offs between power, performance, cost and area. And these trade-offs will be considered separately for different application domains,” says Nadine Collaert, distinguished member of technical staff at imec. “TFETs will most probably find their place in the ultralow-power segment. Many applications in the future require transistors to work at low power and low voltage, such as the many Internet of Things applications.

At CS International, imec’s expert Nadine Collaert will discuss the progress made and challenges ahead in processing TFETs, focusing on the materials and integration, but also on the impact of using TFETs in electronic circuits.

 

About imec

Imec is the world-leading research and innovation hub in nano-electronics and digital technologies. The combination of our widely acclaimed leadership in microchip technology and profound software and ICT expertise is what makes us unique. By leveraging our world-class infrastructure and local and global ecosystem of partners across a multitude of industries, we create groundbreaking innovation in application domains such as healthcare, smart cities and mobility, logistics and manufacturing, and energy. 

As a trusted partner for companies, start-ups and universities we bring together close to 3,500 brilliant minds from over 70 nationalities. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and also has distributed R&D groups at a number of Flemish universities, in the Netherlands, Taiwan, USA, China, and offices in India and Japan. In 2015, imec's revenue (P&L) totaled 415 million euro and of iMinds which is integrated in imec as of September 21, 2016 52 million euro. Further information on imec can be found at www.imec-int.com.

Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of IMEC International (a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a "stichting van openbaar nut”), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Flemish Government), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland, part of Holst Centre which is supported by the Dutch Government), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.) and imec China (IMEC Microelectronics (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.) and imec India (Imec India Private Limited), imec Florida (IMEC USA nanoelectronics design center).
 

Contact :

Hanne Degans, Press officer and communications specialist, T: +32 16 28 17 69, Mobile: +32 486 06 51 75, Hanne.Degans@imec.be